Development and deployment of an intelligent kite aerial photography platform (iKAPP) for site surveying and image acquisition

Murray, John and Neal, Mark and Labrosse, Frederic (2013) Development and deployment of an intelligent kite aerial photography platform (iKAPP) for site surveying and image acquisition. Journal of Field Robotics, 30 (2). pp. 288-307. ISSN 1556-4959

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/rob.21448

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Abstract

Aerial photographs and images are used by a variety of industries, including farming, landscaping, surveying,
and agriculture, as well as academic researchers including archaeologists and geologists. Aerial imagery can
provide a valuable resource for analyzing sites of interest and gaining information about the structure, layout,
and composition of large areas of land that would be unavailable otherwise. Current methods of acquiring aerial
images rely on techniques such as satellite imagery,manned aircraft, or more recently unmanned aerial vehicles
(UAVs) and micro-UAV technologies. These solutions, while accurate and reliable, have several drawbacks.
Using satellite imagery or UAVs can prove to be very expensive, costing tens of thousands for images. They can
also prove to be time-consuming and in some cases have constraints on use, such as no-fly zones. In this paper,
we present an alternative low-cost, versatile solution to these methods, an intelligent kite aerial photography
platform (iKAPP), for the purpose of acquiring aerial images and monitoring sites of interest.We show how this
system provides flexibility in application, and we detail the system’s design, mechanical operation, and initial
flight experiments for a low-cost, lightweight, intelligent platform capable of acquiring high-resolution images.
Finally, we demonstrate the system by acquiring images of a local site, showing how the system functions and
the quality of images it can capture. The application of the system and its capabilities in terms of capture rates,
image quality, and limitations are also presented. The system offers several improvements over traditional KAP
systems, including onboard “intelligent” processing and communications. The intelligent aspect of this system
stems from the use of self-image stabilization of the camera, the advantage being that one is able to configure
the system to capture large areas of a site automatically, and one can see the site acquisition in real time, all of
which are not possible with previous methods of AP.

Additional Information:Article first published online: 14 JAN 2013
Keywords:mobile robotics, aerial images, surveillance
Subjects:G Mathematical and Computer Sciences > G400 Computer Science
Divisions:College of Science > School of Computer Science
ID Code:8156
Deposited On:22 Mar 2013 12:40

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